I started at a software company 3 months ago that is, by most measures, a startup though one with what I would call a large amount of funding. As a part of signing of signing with the company, I took an overall cut in compensation. I was fine with this, until our health benefit was changed and ultimately reduced my compensation by several hundred dollars.
Previously we had the option of a set amount of money that would be contributed towards a company policy pre-tax or have that money given to us as a part of our pay that we could do with as we wished, in my case a better, cheaper, health plan as I am young and healthy. This past month the company removed the second option and forced us onto a company plan, however the cheapest plan was well over the amount they contribute and was sub-par compared to my previous plan.
I realize that the company is well within its right to change benefits as it sees fit, though I understandably feel bait-and-switched by this change.
Complicating this fact is that we have bi-monthly all-hands meetings with the C-level folk, and there is always emphasis on the company being a "lean-startup" and the need to not spend money in a frivolous manner. However, the company regularly flies not only the CTO and CEO back and forth between the east and west coast offices, but does so for regular employees for nothing more than being able to work in the same office for a work or so. Adding further insult to injury, I sit in proximity to the executive assistant to the CTO and overhear her booking a first-class flight for a business trip.
I work in software and have regular opportunities to change jobs, and am in a strong position to negotiate better pay and benefits if I do so, however I don't necessarily wish to leave the current company, especially so soon. My though is I should speak with the CTO himself (as we have a fairly flat, informal hierarchy) and ask for an explanation of the reduction of benefits despite continued expenditures that seem downright frivolous. My prior, and first job was at a company with completely open finances. I realize that is atypical, so how off-handed would me approaching the CTO with this seem? Finding out that the C-level folks are flying first-class across the country with regularity while shafting the regular folks would certainly cause me to reconsider the job, and I feel I should find this out.
Edit I don't mean to imply that this was some premeditated cut, it was also not specifically to my benefits. In my case, I took the money and paid for my health plan and stuck the rest into an HSA. The way things have shaken out, I just took an additional paycut of several hundred dollars per month.
The first-class flights are also not an issue in and of itself, but when the "party-line" is that we as a company need to save money, and we are forcing this cut upon you in order to do so while simultaneously flying first class strikes me as rather tone-deaf. Additionally, given that this is a startup that is presently running on VC money, one could construe the flights as endangering the health of the company and thus everyones' jobs.